At the end of April Richard, Laura and Annie attended the 7th European Symposium of Porcine Health Management (ESPHM). This was a conference for pig vets, scientists and allied industries from across Europe. The conference covered a broad cross section of topics but “Keynote” areas were Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae (APP), Porcine Epidemic Diarrhoea (PED), Mycotoxins and Group Housed sows (A subject the British vets were very familiar with, but a concept that is still quite new to most of Europe!).
PED is a still a “hot” topic despite it being 2 years after the initial outbreak in the United States. This is due to the horrific impact it has had in North America (an estimated 14 million pigs have died), it’s highly infectious nature, and the real threat it poses to the European pig industry as the highly pathogenic US PED strain (100% mortality in the first week) is now in the Ukraine, and the lower pathogenic strain (60% mortality) is in several countries in mainland Europe.
There was a very interesting case study at ESPHM regarding PED in Canada. A finishing site was infected by a lorry driver who had visited a PED positive abattoir and then had not washed his truck adequately, nor changed his footwear, before returning to the finishing site. That finishing site was not diagnosed with PED for a month after infection. During this time the company manager visited the unit and in the following two weeks visited more than 50 other farms. However, due to the simple biosecurity measures of changing overalls, boots, gloves, good personal hygiene and keeping his vehicle clean, the manager infected NONE of the 50 units with PED. This case demonstrates perfectly how lazy biosecurity will spread PED, and many other diseases, whereas good application of simple biosecurity measures can prevent devastating disease outbreaks on your farm.
BPEX Significant Disease Charter
BPEX has a new service which will keep a charter of PED infected farms should the disease make it to the UK. It is a free service to which you sign up, authorising your veterinary surgeon to provide BPEX your PED status, and providing you with the information about disease status in your area. If PED does get into the UK we will be in a far better position to limit the spread, contain, and hopefully eliminate PED at the crucial early stages, if the industry is willing to actively support this disease charter. We would urge all of you to sign up to this service.
To sign up to the BPEX disease charter follow this link: http://pighub.org.uk/iip/home.eb
You will need to sign in to the “Pig Hub” using your existing eAML2 username and password.
All the best!
Dr Laura Hancox BVetMed PhD MRCVS
Courtesy of The George Pig Practice, E.mail – firstname.lastname@example.org